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Lawmaker wants $10,000 raise for teachers

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As lessons go, the math involved in figuring out teacher pay in Oklahoma is pretty elementary.

"We're $10,000 dollars behind the national teacher pay average," said Oklahoma state senator David Holt.

And that can add up to a whole host of things.

"Most teachers work two jobs, I have teachers that work three jobs," said Eugene Field elementary principal Dr. Sheila Riley.

At Eugene Field elementary...

"It was kind of shocking," said teacher Leigh Monroe.

The teachers are very well educated about what their counterparts in neighboring states are making.

"It's about a $15, $16,000 difference from Tulsa to Houston," said teacher Callie Davies.

And that can lead to a talent subtraction.

"Not only are we not getting the teachers we need, but we're losing them every year to our surrounding states," said Dr. Riley.

Enter Senator David Holt with a plan to give every teacher a $10,000 raise.

"I spent months coming up with a way to do it even with a billion dollar shortfall," he said.

And without raising taxes. Step one, eliminate $200 million worth of tax credits, rebate, and deductions. For example...

"We are one of the few states that gives what is essentially a double deduction for local and state taxes. That costs the state $80 million dollars a year," he said.

Step two, consolidate more than half of the states 520 school districts, cutting back on administrators.

"We have 24 school districts in the city limits of Oklahoma city, not the metropolitan, in the city limits we have 24," he said.

Step three, mandate that a slice of future revenue growth for the state go towards teacher pay. All of which could help keep educators as enthused as when they first started.

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